educational

The Video iPod Market: 1

Paul Lundgren
The adult entertainment industry has a long history of being quick to embrace new technologies and profiting handsomely from them. That was true with VCRs in the 1980s, the Internet in the 1990s and DVDs in the early 2000s. With the introduction of Apple's Video iPod — a new video equivalent of the popular audio iPod — the question on the minds of many adult-oriented entrepreneurs is: How much will this new mobile device benefit our industry?

The answer to that question remains to be seen. XBiz contacted several supporters of erotic entertainment to ask them how important a vehicle they thought the Video iPod would be for adult-oriented material, and their responses ranged from highly enthusiastic to reserved to downright skeptical. The Video iPod's more enthusiastic proponents have included the popular Suicide Girls website and entertainment/technology attorney Gregory Alan Rutchik, a partner in the San Francisco-based law firm Idell, Berman, Seitel & Rutchik. The Video iPod, Rutchik asserted, will be great for small mom-and-pop adult companies because it will help them sell erotic content to customers quickly and easily — at least if they have a smart business plan.

"The adult market, for the most part, is comprised of people running small businesses out of their homes," Rutchik told XBiz. "Most of the people catering to the adult market are not working for major companies like Vivid Entertainment. Many times, it's just a boyfriend and a girlfriend behind a camera operating a website, or a woman by herself, and the Video iPod is a product that makes it easier for adult entrepreneurs to get their goods to the consumer. The couple with the camera will have the ability to upload their video and offer that content on iTunes or a video directory — content that can be downloaded and played on a Video iPod."

Rutchik added that one major advantage the Video iPod will have in the adult industry is the fact that many adult-oriented businesses use Macintosh computers rather than Windows-based computers and have a very pro-Apple outlook.

Brickhouse Plan
Clinton Fayling, president of Brickhouse Mobile, is an adult-oriented entrepreneur who describes himself as "very much an Apple fan" and believes that the Video iPod could be a wonderful opportunity for Brickhouse. But Fayling, whose company licenses adult entertainment for use on cellphones, is quick to emphasize that Brickhouse and other adult-oriented businesses need to proceed slowly and cautiously where the Video iPod is concerned — not only in terms of figuring out ways to profit from it but also in terms of avoiding any possible legal problems. Adult businesses, he stressed, must make certain that they have solid age-verification systems in place if they are offering content for the Video iPod.

"As we all well know, the adult industry is highly scrutinized," Fayling told XBiz. "We can't blindly walk into this; we need to make sure that we cover ourselves 100 percent of the way. The Video iPod is a new game, and we want to make sure we go through the rules of the game and understand the playing field. This device and devices like it are really marketed to a young audience, so we need to be extra careful."

Fayling went on to say that, unfortunately, he has come across some smaller adult sites that aren't approaching the Video iPod in a thoughtful, cautious manner. "Even in the early days of the Video iPod," Fayling said, "I'm already seeing a number of sites pop up that don't seem to have those age-verification safeguards in place. They're offering, frankly, poor quality adult content free of charge to any consumer that happens to find their site. Those are the types of sites that always make us cringe."

But regardless, many adult companies are already jumping on the Video iPod bandwagon. Playboy and Penthouse are reportedly gearing up for possible content deals.

AEBN's mobile division, Xobile, plans to launch a system that is designed for the Video iPod.

Sensational Video has launched a free porn portal targeted at the Video iPod user.

Multimedia subscription-only search engine Guba says it wants to become the Internet's top destination for iPod owners in search of downloadable adult video, and the company plans to launch a major initiative to tailor adult videos available to it members for optimal viewing on the Video iPod by converting them to the H.264 format. And gay porn production company Flava Works, well known for its gay black and Latino contributions to the adult video world, recently joined the mobile video revolution with a host of Video iPod-compatible movie trailers available throughout the company's network of websites, which includes CocoDorm.com, Thugboy.com, CocoBoyz.com and Papicock.com.

In part two, we'll look at consumer reception of adult material for the Video iPod.

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